Some of you have asked me what it is you should be ‘doing’ during your treatments. My suggestion is – Go with your body’s needs and do whatever you feel like!
Some of you may use this time to reflect on your week, some may meditate or take the time for a much needed nap. Your time here at the clinic should be a relaxing and comfortable experience so use this time to positively influence your day.
Here are some techniques that I have found useful when I am resting during my acupuncture treatments:
Incremental body relaxation:
Here you bring your attention to various parts of your body and relax each section until you are completely relaxed. Firstly, become aware of how your toes are feeling and then release any tension there, allowing them to feel soft, heavy and wonderfully relaxed. Move your awareness up the bridge of your foot, the arch, your heel and your ankle. Move slowly up each body part and relax them as you go. When you finally finish at the very top of your head you should feel heavy, loose and peaceful. This is also a wonderful technique before bed– where are my pajamas? I fancy practicing it now!
Here you focus in on your breath as a way of clearing your mind and falling into a deeper state of relaxation. Take one long breath in to the count of 4 beats feeling that breath entering through the Lungs and into your lower abdomen. Hold this breath for 6 beats and then exhale slowly for 6 beats feeling all the stale air leave your system. When you repeat, feel the fresh Qi from the air invigorating your body and the used Qi, along with any worries, stresses or concerns leaving your body with each exhalation.
Lower Dan Tian meditation:
The lower Dan Tian is located inside the lower abdomen and is understood to be the ‘sea of Qi’ or the center of energy. Reinforcing the Dan Tian with good life practices is especially important for health and longevity. During your treatment you may like to focus your attention in on the Dan Tian, imagining the sea of Qi being supported and nourished by the energy shifts during your acupuncture treatment and by your breath.
For those of you who like to use this time to reflect on your week then my suggestion would be to focus on the positives. Using this time to think about what went wrong this morning, what you haven’t done yet or ruminating on some of your worries is not necessarily something your body needs when you are resting on the table. These thoughts may pop up during your treatment - some of you may find they pop up continually while you are lying there trying to remember to relax and think happy thoughts. This is perfectly fine. Sometimes you need to become conscious of how busy your thoughts are or how focused you are on certain issues before you can recognize how this might be influencing your body and mind.
When these thoughts enter your mind during your treatment, allow them their moment and then let them go with your exhaling breath. If they return then repeat the process. You might like to use some of the above relaxation techniques as a way to distract your mind and in time it will become easier.
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